Towson Tigers 2011-2012 Basketball Team of Character

Towsons Basketball team and their coach are a great example of character in sports.

This is not a blog about basketball talent, for to write about that the author should have some exceptional knowledge about the sport, which, alas, this writer does not.

I do know something about character, however, and the gutsy first win of the season for Pat Skerry, former assistant coach at my alma mater, University of Pittsburgh, and his never-give-up Towson Tigers in a transformative feat was a game I shall never forget.

The players, including especially, but not exclusively, Marcus Damas, Erique Gumbs, Robert Nwankwo, Jervon Pressley, and Deon Jones were effort personified. They never relaxed; they listened to their coach; they focused throughout, and they won a game they could win but were not favored to win.

I don’t know the stats, but it seems their rebounds, shooting percentage and turnovers must have been their best all year. Doesn’t matter. They could not have played with more heart than they did yesterday. Every rebound was contested. When a ball appeared to be turned over, they pursued and pursued and pursued again. Throughout the game they fought every moment.

Their coach throughout the long season – a season that would seem longer but for the hard, unremitting work these young men put forth – has never mailed it in either.

I used to watch the team work out in the bad years when I would jog during practice, and many of them would lounge around – it was so devastating: not the losing, but the lack of the very character they have shown before yesterday. They won more games than the players this year, but they had less guts.

A poetic note was sounded when an ESPN announcer called us Towson State – go ahead, buster; you obviously don’t prepare with the intensity of this group.

Again, my sport is tennis, another sport which measures character, so I cannot give you analysis of roundball playing excellence per play. But I go to all the games. I love Towson University, and the basketball men and their coach made me and the less-than-thousand or so folks who come to every game proud yesterday afternoon.


Red Maryland

The Premier blog of conservative and Republican politics and ideas in the Free State, named one of Maryland's best political blogs by the Washington Post.

Professor Vatz teaches at Towson University.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Buzz Beeler January 30, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Doc (referenced for impact) the team is on life support. Now if the season was just a mediocre one, would we be taking about this now? Makes good copy for the sports pages. As the saying goes there is no such thing as bad publicity.


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